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(en) US, Duluth, Media, News From 91.3 KUWS - Anarchists group to speak in Duluth tonight about RNC protests Monday at 4:04 p.m. 9/22/2008

Date Tue, 23 Sep 2008 10:23:03 +0300



Two activists who were involved in demonstrations at the Republican National
Convention are speaking in Duluth tonight. They’ll talk about alleged police
intimidation. Rich Kremer reports. ---- Brian Hokanson of Minneapolis of the
Republican National Convention Welcoming Committee was on hand when police
conducted the first in a series of raids against demonstrators three days before
the convention. ---- “As dinner was going on, as people were watching a movie
the police busted in, guns drawn, hurled everybody onto the floor, they
processed and ID us, took our photographs one by one. There was 68 people inside
at the time and eventually they all let us go without any arrests but they
confiscated stacks of newspapers this tall, took peoples personal belongings, my
laptop and my digital camera both were seized and I still haven’t got them back.
And, basically just trashed the place and threatened to close it.”

While more than 100 activists have been arrested, a group known as the RNC Eight
is facing serious charges of Conspiracy to Riot in Furtherance of Terrorism.
Hokanson says the charges are designed to quiet dissent.

“Conspiracy charges are intended to criminalize dissent and to scare activists.
I think, beginning with the raids on Friday and Saturday night, they definitely
intended to scare people off the streets on Monday and it looks like they might
have been succeeded with a marginal amount of people.”

Joel Kilgour of the Northland Anti-War Coalition says the raids and months of
scare tactics were trying to intimidate people so they wouldn’t take part in the
demonstrations in St. Paul.

“A lot of people didn’t go. The Twin Ports has a strong activist tradition and
probably 100 people showed up for the rally but for a major national anti-war
demonstration in our own state, kind of a low turnout and I know based on my
conversations with people that they didn’t come because they were afraid.”

Tonight’s presentation starts at 7 o’clock at Peace United Church of Christ in
Duluth.


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